As the coronavirus pandemic tightens its grip on society, supermarkets across the country have never been so busy.
It might not have been ideal grand opening conditions on Saturday for the Parkes Aldi store, which had been closed since March 3 for refurbishments, but its timing couldn't have been more urgent.
Panic buying descended on Parkes earlier this month, with toilet paper and hand soap and sanitisers the first to go and shoppers soon stripping shelves of other items such as meat, pasta, eggs, frozen food and cleaning products.
Parkes has four supermarkets in town - Woolworths, Coles, Cunningham's IGA and Aldi.
Aldi's trading absence this month had no doubt put pressure on available stock at the remaining supermarkets, who have been forced to limit the number of some items customers can purchase.
On Saturday morning, residents flocked to Aldi for a shop and to check out its impressive new, modern look.
The upgrades are part of the business' state-wide roll-out of its modern store design.
New features include redesigned shelving, expanded wooden produce bays, as well as extended energy efficient chillers.
As energy management remains a key priority for Aldi, the store has energy efficient LED lighting and there will be improved point-of-sale displays and store signage.
Available Aldi shopping trolleys were few and far between on Saturday morning and all five registers open, with queues of 15 or more people by 9.30am.
By 6pm that night, some parts of shelves were bare in the meat and fruit and veg section, toilet paper aisle, there were very little tissues/napkins and some freezers empty.
Aldi Parkes has a team of 15-20 permanent full and part-time employees.
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